Get more plants. Plants within our homes help increase air quality and help us get rid of toxins lurking in our air. Some of the best plants for improving air quality are Chinese Evergreen, Peace Lily, and English Ivy. For the best air quality, a good rule of thumb is one plant per 1,000 square feet of home. Check out the toxin removing indoor plant guide and the Andrea plant air filter.
Use a clothesline. Cut your energy bill down by using a clothesline. Don’t let apartment life hold you back. Nowadays places like Urban Clothes Lines and Breeze Dryer sell indoor and outdoor drying racks which are perfect for those of us with cramped spaces.
Wash only full loads. You can save energy and money but only running loads of laundry or dishes that are full. Also, you can use less detergent. As a society we tend to over-use rather than under-use detergent. Don’t forget that detergent is highly concentrated so it often works better when you use less.
Stop using chlorine based bleach. Chlorine can be harmful to the respiratory, reproductive, endocrine, and immune systems. Although using it with water as a disinfectant isn’t usually harmful, when mixed with other chemicals chlorine can create toxic substances. Stick to oxygen bleach if possible. A few good brands I’d swear by are Biokleen , and Ecos.
Use a crock-pot. Crock-pots use less energy without sacrificing nutritional content, and are super easy to use. Use them to save yourself time and energy by starting them before you head off for your day or before you go to sleep.
Use recycled toilet paper. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, if every household in the United States replaced one virgin roll with one 100% recycled roll of toilet paper, we could save 423,900 trees. That’s only one roll: Imagine if families completely switched to 100% recycled toilet paper.
Use a natural laundry detergent. Kids come in contact with enough chemicals and harmful synthetic ingredients throughout the day, so why wash their clothes with them too? Switch to a non-toxic detergent that is biodegradable and won’t irritate you or your children’s skin. Biokleen, Maggies’s, or Sun and Earth are some of the brands I’ve found are safe, natural, and do the job well.
Cut down on canned goods. Canned goods, particularly canned soups and vegetables, can absorb trace amounts of Bisphenol-A, also known as BPA. BPA is associated with a number of health risks, and is especially toxic to children and women who may be pregnant. If possible, stick with fresh organic fruits and vegetables instead of the canned variety.[ad name=”Go-ED-LgSquare”]
Pick natural carpeting. There are over 100 chemicals that are probably hanging out in your carpet right now. With little children rolling around and playing on the floor, it’s better to have natural fibers such as wool, cotton, or jute flooring. Also, if you can manage it, organic and un-dyed options will be the safest for everyone involved.
Use cloth diapers. Try to use cloth diapers that won’t add to a landfill each day, because we all know how quickly babies go through diapers. Also, babies who use cloth diapers are less likely to get diaper rash than those with conventional diapers. If you can’t muster the thought of cloth diapers, at least opt for biodegradable and more naturally made choices.
Get rid of chemicals in the home. Every year over 1 million children are poisoned accidentally in their own homes, most often by a household cleaner. How many of us store harmful household chemicals under the sink, or in an unlocked cupboard? Better than increasing the security around such items, you can properly dispose of them, and get them out of our homes altogether.